The ultimate goal…

This is a photo of my Dad taken by my youngest brother in July.  He’s walking a strand of beach about 4 miles from the house I grew up in.

This is where the most rejuvenative moments of my life have happened.  Cradled in these waves, feeling the salt on my skin and the heartbeat of the ocean, I made some of the most momentous decisions of my life, as well as recovered from some of the most difficult events.

I know we all want our homes to be what we need them to be to support and heal us, to encourage us to be who we need and want to be.  I may never get there, but the goal for me is to make my home feel the way this photo does.

Of course, my ultimate goal is to leave near an ocean like this once again.  An ocean.  Not a lake, or a river, or a stream.  Not a mountain or a forest.  An honest-to-goodness salt water ocean.

Preferabley a warmer one.  The Atlantic of the coast of PEI is chiiiilllly – and I like a higher temperature these days.

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I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Visiting the Kaleidoscope!

We have the same parents, grew up in the same home – even shared a bedroom for years.  Our outlook on life is similar, as is our work ethic and personal morality.  On many, many levels, we are virtually similar.

Still, there are some dramatic differences between my younger sister and I. Continue reading

A room of her own…

The Ogre and I are fortunate enough to be renting a lovely little three bedroom townhome with a “finished” basement space.  It’s not a large home, but there is just the two of us and the cat (can’t EVER forget the cat!).

The basement has become our “everything” space.  Computers, tv, a crafting area for me next to the area I store my tools and supplies – we do it all in this room. Continue reading

Project list and timeline… sort of.

When we first moved in January, I started working on the closet mudroom and hallway. The landlord had a painter in to do the stairway to the second floor as well as the hall and bath upstairs. Because of this, the first spaces you see when you walk into our home are relatively “done”. They promise much more than the rest of our home delivers, though.

Originally, I had hoped to move a little bit faster in getting the foundations of all the rooms finished. But I was stressing myself too much and really pushed myself too far. Steady and slow is going to win my race. (I just have to remember that!)

Still, it’s high time for me to decide what needs doing, where and when. Or, at least, give myself a to-do list with items prioritized by timeline. No specific dates, just an order of what room/project(s) needs finishing first.

Are you ready?

Take a deep breath.

Here we go.

Number one with a bullet is my living room. I’d like the bones of this room finished by mid-April or so. Then, I could spend the rest of the month fiddling with the smaller projects.

This room needs the following projects to have a good foundation (hopefully finished by mid-April):

1. Patch walls and sand
2. Prime – particularly the dark brown areas!
3. Paint walls and trim
4. Purchase new bookcases and assemble
5. Purchase or make new curtains and sheers for the patio door

And these are the fiddley things (Would like to complete by mid-May):

6. Refinish console table
7. Refinish Malm Headboard
8. Strip and redo dining room glass tabletop
9. Refinish dining table base
10. Refinish coffee table
11. Find “perfect” end table for beside couch
12. Hang artwook and decorate – including the bookcases!

When Mom comes in July, I’m hoping we can get a start on slipcovering my couch and chair. For that, I’m going to have to make a decision on color and fabric, which I’m no where near ready to do right now.

After the slipcovering, I’ll start planning toward my faux fireplace. That will pretty much be the final project of any size for the living/dining room areas.

You know, I’m not sure if listing this all out intimidates me or inspires me. There seems to be soooo much to do, but it feels great to have it out in the world instead of just inside my head. And I can really “see” what the room is going to look like when it’s done.

Next up is actually starting to cross things off the list – after doing them of, course!

Does anyone else do this? Write lists that both frighten and exhilarate? Does seeing it all out on paper meake it harder or easier for you? I’d love to know which side of the fence you come down on – or if you, like me, are precariously balancing on the top rail!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Arial view and thoughts of where to go from here…

I worked on Friday evening and Saturday to clean up my backyard and move the stone patio pavers.  I got done what I could, and am quite happy with the slight progress.

Here’s an arial view (through the screen of the small bedroom upstairs!)

I’m REALLY happy with the staggered pavers between the patio door and the gateway.  There’s a nice triangular shape to the right of that for planting.

Here’s a poorly done edit to show what it MIGHT look like.  Green is for (funnily enough) growing things, while grey is for concrete.

Let me clearly state that I have NEVER had a garden – other than the family garden my Mom and Dad made me weed when I’d rather be doing other things!  I have no idea what I’m doing.  None.  Zero.  Zip.  Zilch.

What I do have is a friend.  Roxane (www.creativeclothingbyroxane.com) is not only a phenom at the sewing and embroidery machines, she has the greenest thumbs in the universe.  Her personal garden looks like spring and summer personified.  And she has promised me she’d help.   She’s assured me it’ll be OK.

Thank goodness.  There’s no way I could do this alone!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Planning the living room…

Right now, as I type, my trainwreck of a living room looks like this…

This room gets absolutely no use at the moment.  We live in the basement with our computers and each other.

However, I’m only able to walk past this mess soooooo many times before something snaps.

So it’s time to start planning.

First, the wall color…

Louisburg Green - already purchased

Then, the trim and bookcases…

Stone White - already purchased

And that’s as far as the planning has gotten, color-wise.

What’s gone farther is the planning for layout.  I need want this area to serve several functions.  I’d like a place to eat meals, a place to sit with friends away from technology, and a place to curl up with a good book and an attack cat.

And a fireplace.  I WANT a fireplace.  Mostly for the mantle, I think.  We can’t have a real one here, so my familial fascination with gathering around the fire after dark won’t be indulged.  But I can fake it, I think!

A fireplace would also be the perfect focal point in the center of a bookcase wall.  And we do need a bookcase wall – perhaps two.

I have the upholstered pieces (and have plans for them), the dining room pieces, but I’m short bookcases.  I think we’ll be looking for some Billy’s from Ikea.  In white, to merge with the trim color.  At this point, it looks like 5 large ones will do the job, so that’s the number on my wishlist.

Tentatively, I’m hoping for a floorplan similar to this one.  (Absolutely NOT in scale).I’m not sure that this will work.  It’s really crowded where the chairs and bookcases are.  Nonetheless, it’s a start in the planning process!

Any recommendations on furniture placement would be very gratefully accepted!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Laying it all out…

That’s my new challenge, people.  Laying it all out.

Furniture, that is.

You see, I have an L-shaped living/dining area.  And I have all of this to fit into it…

Photo NOT taken in my home

Add in a 3′X3′ coffee table, a console table and fifty bajillion bookcases and you’ll begin to see the depths of my difficulty!

This awkward space needs to have a dining area, a seating area AND a library area.  Did I mention I also want a fireplace?

The space looks sort of like this now.  (Don’t judge… I haven’t started working on it yet so it’s been a “dump” space.)

Bad photos.  Very bad.  Bad blogger!  But if you think I’m gonna give you crystal clear shots of THIS mess, you have another think comin’!

The plan now is to play with different arrangements while I fill the holes in the walls.  All of the books may just get shoved back in the boxes for this step, but the Ogre takes a couple with him to work every shift… and they’re spur of the moment picks, so that poses a bit of a difficulty, too.

I could probably do it all on paper BEFORE I move things, but that doesn’t really address sight lines in a method I can visualize.  I sort of have to SEE it for real to get a sense of whether it will work.

I know what I see in my head.  A beautiful green background with crisp white bookshelves as the background to all of this.  I think I can make that happen.

I’m just not sure how yet!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday Sharing

Nothing of my own to show you today, Lovelies.   I’ve managed to get the second coat of paint on in the hallway and it looks wonderful.  It’s such a happy little yellow!

Tomorrow, I’ll be painting out the trim and hanging the shelf I made.  Once I manage to scrape all my paint drips off the floor and wash it, I should be able to have some shots for you.

Until then, I’d like to share two projects that I think are wonderful.

First, there’s Melissa’s Fairy Garden.  I’m truly horrid with houseplants, but I think I’m going to make one of these.  The idea of a garden in miniature tugs at my imagination.  I wonder who would brave our cat to live in mine?

The Inspired Room's Fairy Garden

You will never believe how Lori made this little gal!  What a wonderful, whimsical piece.  And the story of how it came together highlights just how a creative mind sometimes works.

from Bleak 2 Unique

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday’s Fangles

Fangle is a word.  Honest.  Google it.  I can wait.

……..

Noun

fangle (plural fangles)

  1. (obsolete) A prop; a taking up; a new thing.
  2. Something newly fashioned; a novelty, a new fancy

……..

Today’s fangle is the new to me Malm 3-piece headboard.   Normally, this bad boy sells for $199 Cdn.  However, thanks to the magic that is Kijiji, I lucked into it for $30.

That sound you hear?  That’s the heavenly choir, rejoicing for me.

If you’ve been following along, you know I refinished a pair of Sally Anne Lamps that were intended to grace the sofa table I didn’t own.  For some reason, I seem to design the little stuff first – build a whole “scape” intended to grace furniture that doesn’t yet exist in my home.  It’s a sickness.

Anyhoooo….

Enter my lovely little Malm.  In faux beech veneer.  Nice lines.  Extra storage that can hide out of the way if I need it to, or show off if it’s actually pretty stuff.

But it’s beech.  (blech)

And it’s fake veneer.  (double blech)

But it was $30!  (YAY!)

So, now the conundrum.  How the blue blazes do I refinish fake veneer?  Is there anything I can use to “stain” it so it will look like dark wood?  Or do I bite the bullet and paint it?

If I paint it, what color?

So many decisions.  One nice piece.  And my lamps are excited, too!

I’d really love to see your comments on the projects I do and the ideas I have.  I learn more from critiques than praise, but, honestly, I adore praise (and who doesn’t?).

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday Shenanigans!

I have a Monday-Friday day job, and teach or study dance 2-3 nights a week.  Saturday and Sunday tend to be the days I catch up on my sleep and housework (you know, those tedious but necessary things!)  They are also the only times I’m home during winter daylight hours – which explains a lot of the condition of my photos, even if I am learning how to work in lower light conditions!  (Reading the manual and purchasing a tripod have REALLY helped!)

I think I’ve mentioned before that the Ogre works shifts.  7 evenings on/ 2 days off, 7 midnights on/ 5 days off.  He works 12 hour shifts both days for two weekends, then has the third weekend fall on his 5 day off schedule.  This weekend, he’s on midnights – 12am to 12pm.

This gives me “windows” for different kinds of activities.  Prior to noon on Saturday and Sunday, he’s not home, so I can be as noisy as required.  Then, there’s a 2-3 hour block when he’s home, but tired and hungry, so that’s really time we just spend together.  Once he falls asleep, I’ve got a block of as much as 8 hours when I can do more quiet things or run weekend errands.

That means that I only had a few hours today for the noisy things on my project list.  Here’s the list, so you don’t have to jump to that page!

  • Re-arrange living and dining room furniture, unpack all books and boxes.
  • Sand, prime and paint shelving and bench for mudroom
  • Coo over paint that’s going to be delivered by landlord!
  • Prep mudroom closet for painting – first coat?
  • Weekend chores and errands

I was able to re-arrange the living and dining room area this morning before he came home.  I started on the boxes, and realized that I’d just have to repack or move them out of the room when I paint in a few weeks.  There’s nothing in the boxes that we can’t live without – in fact, the accessories look really forlorn and lost in this mess of a place.  So, that project got removed from the list.

I’ve already done a fair amount of sanding on the shelving and bench.  All that’s left is a few swipes with a sanding sponge.  While tedious, it’s not noisy, so I was good to go for that while he slept.  And, even though I really, really wanted to jump up and down at getting TONS of new paint today, I kept the excitement internalized.  OK, there were a few happy dances, but only to music in my head.

Here’s a pictoral partial progress report on the living/dining area.  Let’s start with the “before”, shall we?

So, I moved things.  And swept.  It still isn’t pretty, but it’s one step closer!

Of course, as soon as I moved everything, I decided that the “library” and the “living” areas needed to be reversed.  I didn’t change anything as the painting will happen within the next 2 weeks and we don’t actually USE this room for more than the table.  I’m going to try my hand at photoshopping an end result before I move things – just to see if my vision can work and to iron out some of the wrinkles I can see in doing the reversal.

My wonderful landlord just dropped by – and left me a few presents.

Unfortunately, the Benjamin Moore location he purchases at had just run out of the base for the Turquoise Powder that I’m planning to use in the mudroom closet.  It’ll be a few more days before I’ll have that.  Still, there’s primer and a new trim brush!  Plus the paint for the shelving and bench.  I’ll be able to proceed with those now.

And, yes, I did do a little happy dance.  In the basement.  To music no-one else can hear.  There may or may not have been fist pumping.

The Ogre’s sound asleep now, so I’m off to run errands.  Once I’m back, I’ll be sanding and priming  the wooden pieces for the mudroom.  And watching action/thriller/horror movies while I do it.  ‘Cause I’m such a girl.